Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Day in the Park

Just when you think your kids are growing up so fast, you see their innocence shining through and it makes you smile.

I took Julian and Tali to the park yesterday, the local playground adjacent to Tali's old school. It's got a great layout and we usually have a grand old time there. Plus I get a goodly amount of exercise chasing Julian, so everybody's happy.

There was a group of kids who were being slightly obnoxious, though nothing terrible. I looked at one and recognized her to be a child from Tali's old school. I said, "aren't you M, from Tali's class?" She just nodded her head "ahumm". "Oh" I smiled and that was that. She seemed older than Tali in some way, more street savvy. When she was in Tali's class which was one or two of her grades in the public school, my recollection of her was not of a nice child, in fact, she was a bit forward and rude.

I mentioned to Tali when she came back over from her bike ride, that I had just seen M and she just shrugged. She went up the slide where the group was playing at the bottom, observed them, and moved on. She ended up making friends with a little girl and led the little girl and Julian on a dig in the dirt, complete with gathering sticks to make a campfire, all the while looking for just the right type of shiney rocks on an archaeological dig.

In many ways, Tali's behavior is more naive than M, the old classmate. But mostly, she is wise beyond their years. Later she remarked, none of her circle of friends had liked M in the old school because she was mean. M was joined by Victoria in the park who, Tali recalled, cared more for her looks than her IQ.

Mostly I felt grateful that I have two children who are still happy to come with Mommy to the park; who don't try to be "cool" and who know how to just let the unbridled joy of childhood lead the path for a day well played...I have the dirty laundry to prove it.

We are busy preparing the house to celebrate Passover and will be doing so over the next few days. To all my Jewish friends and family, a Zissin Pesach.


al said...

Great story, G. Great years with your kids, too. Enjoy them -- and may you all revel in a warm and wonderful Passover Holiday.

Miz BoheMia said...

I hear ya amiga mia and I understand that feeling and am lucky to be able to say that I am grateful for the same thing when it comes to my two nutty little people... their compassion and connection to what's real, their lack of games and BS some kids engage in may cause them some pain along the way, as mostly sensitive souls are able to remain so true to themselves, but it will make for a better, wiser, more compassionate and utterly delightful adult... and they are lucky to have a fabulous mom to know just how to cater to their sweet and sensitive selves and who is there to pick them up when the going might get tough!

Fabulous and beautiful family you are and I love reading about you all and hopefully someday soon I will have the delightful pleasure of meeting you! Neshikot to you my dearest amiga and may you have a fabulous Passover Holiday!

Miz BoheMia said...

Oy! I just read what I wrote and let it be noted that the description of the children and the fabulous mom is about you!!! I sound utterly narcissistic in my comment up above!

It's what happens when the nutty little boy is fighting with his nutty big sister about not wanting to be Superman anymore and in doing so distract their always-it-seems frazzled mother! My bad! :-)

pia said...

Wonderful story. Have a feeling that Tali's years of wanting to be seen with mommy will last

Have an incredible Passover--it is the best holiday

G said...

Al: They are indeed. Thanks very much.

MizB: I am laughing so because I knew exactly what you meant, but if I may - right back atcha, my dear bohemian amiga. And don't I love getting the updates from your side. I only hope it will be getting closer to our one day meeting the next time I pop over and get my update.

THank you for your sweet words which I am always so happy to see. I can't wait for the day when we finally meet - it's going to happen as we all will it to be.

Thank you for your good wishes and Neshikot to you and your beautiful bohemian family. XOX

Pia: Thank you - from you mouth to G-d's ears. She is rather attached to her mama if I do say so myself. To be healthy (as my MIL says :).

Enjoy your Passover, it is indeed a wonderful holiday. Maybe your new template will be ushered in with the 4 questions - how fitting.

weirsdo said...

Right you are. William has few friends, partly because we don't do the video game thing, and, well, what else IS there, according to local boys. But he likes who he likes and doesn't care. Sylvia has violin friends who include admiring little girls of around 8. It's all good, natural, and appropriate for who the kids are. It's great that Tali is self-possessed like that, too.

Doug said...

Happy Passover, G, Tali, Julian and Scissorhands!

Diesel said...

Very nice post, as always, G. Happy Passover.

Doug said...

Good for Tali. My neighborhood is filled with little girls trying to be cool. That's a cruel road.

First Nations said...

imagine a childhood so bleak that 'acting like a kid' is looked upon as somehow 'uncool'. these are the ones who grow up with the souls of real estate salespeople.
one of the most moving spiritual experiences i ever had was when the leader of one of my mom's religious groups decided that the congregation would celebrate passover, complete with traditional foods, prayers and tableware, instead of easter. i felt like the whole world was full of hope and expectation of good things; it was so moving to me. have a great one, my dear.

Claire said...

I could have sent my daughter to middle school for 6th grade, but instead kept her at the elementary school. Boy, am I glad I did. One more year of recess, tag, playing with furryville, dolls, etc. Thank G-d for that extra time. When I run into the girls that went to the middle school they seem so grown up with attitudes. I have been talking to my girl about the 'mean girls' phenom that happens in the hope that she will never be a mean girl. Loved your post.

neva said...

loveloveloved this post, and adore the fact that your beautiful Tali has a such a good sense of people and/or their intentions, even at her tender age. in many ways my sister and i were a lot like that as kids, and i believe (and hope) it opened up a world of relationship "possibilities" that might otherwise have gone unexplored. it's a good thing, and an attitude/approach Joel and I have tried to impart to our own sons over the years (successfully, i might add. they have an incredible range of friends from all walks of life).

hope your Passover holiday is beautiful, healthy, and happy, dearest NBFF! Zissen Pesach! xox

G said...

Weirsdo: What else IS there indeed! Good for William and Sylvia. I know a certain nine year old who would happily join the admiring minions. Here's to individuality.

Doug - Thanks from the whole family.

Diesel: Thanks my friend.

Doug: It is indeed. Stupid adults for paving the way for them.

fn: So true, there's a vacancy in these children's lives...and these are not even the bleakest cases. Yet I ask - NYC 2007 - you're letting your 9 or 10 year old child go to the park alone? I don't think so! That sounds like a wonderful experience indeed. I like to hear stories like that.

Claire: That year makes a big difference, I'm with you. You can still feel their innocence in the joys of the simple games. Glad that it worked out for your daughter - those mean girls are a cultural plague! And thanks.

Neva: As a parent, you know, you always hope you're doing "okay". These are the validations along the way that make me smile and say, I guess we're doing alright. And thank you, we've been having a nice holiday so far. XOX

Cheesemeister said...

My son is at the stage where he walks waaaay ahead of me with his long stork legs. I figure given a few more years and he won't be as embarrassed to be seen with the old lady again.

Diesel said...

G, it's caption contest time again!

Joel said...

Great story G...Happy Passover (I'm not too late am I?)

G said...

Cheesemeister: Ah yes - that stage of the game. Guess I'd better enjoy these trips to the park now :).

Diesel, I'll give it a crack.

Joel: Thanks. You are indeed not - you're good until Tuesday night in fact.

Minka said...

I truly hope that Tali will remain just that way...that social pressure never comes to be too strong so she´d lose her appreciation of the child within.
To being able to play, even at the age of 30, is time well spent, youth well preserved and hope unlimited!

Happy Passover and a wonderful time aroudn each other!

G said...

I know each parent feels this - but this will be a tough kid to break. I just try to engender the beauty of indiviuality and hope she stays true to herself. More than that, I can't hope for.

Thank you my dear Minka for your all around good wishes. xox